Category Archives: Oldies but Goodies
And for my next Classic Movie we have Casino! I would have let you guys know I was watching as (I believe) Geek Soul Brother suggested but I didn’t know till about 8PM last night that I was. I was at my friend, Gory’s, who said, “Movie?” To which I always reply, “Yes.” He picked out Casino and I said, “WAIT! Let me check my list because I think this is on it!!….YES! It is!”
So if you’re like me and you have yet to see this….I know, I know, doubtful….the long story short is that De Niro works at a casino as the manager or something similar, Pesci is basically a mobster and Stone is a hustler who ends up with De Niro. To be honest, I didn’t understand the entirety of the heisting, down’n'dirty politics of gambling and mobsterdom but I’m pretty sure De Niro and Pesci were skimming from the casino. (Feel free to offer up a lengthier explanation if ya got one! ) Anyway, heisting, killing, murder, mayhem and then finally it all goes bad (never saw that one coming…no really…).
My first comment on this? Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me this was so freaking fabulous???? Oh…wait…you did? Seriously loved this movie. I’m pretty sure everything here was complete perfection – the acting (Sharon Stone is fucking amazing in this – such a raw performance – I had no idea she had that in her), the cinematography (from the camera slant when De Niro and Pesci are driving around Vegas to the smoke wafting through the blue light, to the entire red and blue washes in scenes), the costumes (omg, WANT almost all Stone’s outfits!) and of course, THE STORY. Brilliant, just brilliant. Oh and the violence? Impeccable.
So, what’s the bad? There was none. Absolutely none. Oh, I’m sure on a 3rd or 4th viewing I might start nit-picking but after the first viewing I can only spout adoration.
And the final verdict is – this is a classic I wish I’d watched a helluva lot sooner. I’m fairly certain this is a movie I’ll be able to watch over and over again. Filmmaking like this is truly phenomenal and something that should be done more often. For reals.
For my first classic movie I have oddly enough never seen, I went with The Thing (so now people can stop yelling at me all the time about not having seen it ). I’d previously seen the prequel/remake (was it a prequel? Or was it a remake?? Didn’t they bill it as a prequel but it was really just the same thing but with a chick?) and I pretty much dug it but man, was this intense!
I assume I can pretty much skip the recap (aliens, y’all – big nasty motherfucking aliens) so I’ll break it down into The Good and The Bad.
Dude, Kurt Russell is pretty much the BOMB. And um, oddly kinda of really hot.
Old school makeup and camera tricks beat out CGI pretty much any day of the week. Those aliens were freaky as hell. And seriously, why, oh why do creepy things always have to do the even creepier backwards crab walk thing?? Why??
That one dog near the beginning when the alien first appears – you know when all the dogs are locked in that cell thing – the dog that takes one look at the alien and says, “Fuck this shit.” and starts tearing out the bars so it can escape. That was AWESOME.
Major tension. I was deeply unsettled the whole way through. Like nervous in the pit of my stomach unsettled.
Super gross. I actually got really hungry about halfway through this and kept wanting to go get food but then something incredibly, wickedly disgusting would happen and yeah…food was not an option.
All those poor puppies! Sad making.
While this left me unsettled, the remake thing actually had me a little scared. No idea what the difference there was except that the backwards crab walking alien was WAYYYY more amped up and dramatic in the remake and it freaked me the hell out. But this didn’t scare me.
I was totally bored throughout the beginning – say the first 30 minutes.
So the final verdict? Entirely enjoyable. I can totally see why it gained cult status and I can totally see how all my friends that actually saw this movie when they were kids were terrified of it. Probably not one I’ll revisit but definitely glad I finally saw it.
It’s the new year and already things are in full swing but I have NOT forgotten about my classics movie project! Here’s all the suggestions I received:
2. The Professional
5. The Thing
6. Five Easy Pieces
7. On the Waterfront
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
10. Full Metal Jacket
11. The Changeling
12. Taxi Driver
14. Just Before Dawn
16. The Burning
17. The Women
18. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
19. Of Wine and Roses
20. Forbidden Planet
21. House of Wax
22. Once Upon A Time in America (the full 3 hrs 45 mins version)
23. L.A. Confidential
25. Total Recall
26. The Abyss
27. Danger: Diabolik
28. Black Sabbath
29. Blade Runner
30. Once Upon a Time in the West
31. The Wild Bunch
32. A Clockwork Orange
33. Lone Wolf McQuade
34. The Searchers
36. Raging Bull
38. The Conversation
39. What’s Up Doc?
40. You Can’t Take It With You
41. Maltese Falcon
42. Double Indemnity
44. Citizen Kane
45. North by Northwest
46. Duck Soup
47. Aguirre: Wrath of God
48. The Third Man
49. The Seventh Seal
50. Eight and 1/2
52. The Deer Hunter
53. I Saw The Devil
54. Godfather I
55. Godfather II
56. Philadelphia Story
57. It Happened One Night
58. The Usual Suspects
59. Rear Window
61. Night of the Hunter
64. Picnic at Hanging Rock
66. Lawrence of Arabia
67. The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
68. Dr. Strangelove
69. So, I Married an Axe Murderer
70. The 39 Steps
71. High Anxiety
72. Les Diaboliques
73. You the Living
75. The Quiet Man
76. Mister Roberts
78. The Killing
79. Barry Lyndon
80. A Clockwork Orange
81. Pasolini’s “Porcile”
82. Buñuel’s “Belle de Jour”
83. Cool Hand Luke
84. Blue Velvet
85. Apocalypse Now
86. African Queen
87. Kelly’s Heroes
88. Harvey (1950)
89. I married a monster from outer space
91. Breaking away
92. Phantom of the paradise
94. Running Time
95. Brother from another planet
96. A Fistful Of Dollars
97. For A Few Dollars More
98. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
99. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension
So there you have it – my 99 classic films for the year (although if someone wants to add one more so that it’s an even hundred, my OCD would thank you! ). Obviously this will take me awhile and I’ll be mixing it all in with my regular stuff but I think it’s going to be fun. The only problem I’ve run into so far is that a few of these aren’t on streaming so I’ll have to hunt them down in other ways so I’m starting with the easiest available first. Should have the first one up this week.
Thanks again for all the suggestions guys! You ALL ROCK! Oh and if you made a suggestion and it’s not on the list, it’s only cause I’ve already seen it.
Yay Nostalgiathon! In case you’re looking for even more nostalgia, head on over to the Nostalgiathon 2012 page to all the latest entries – there’s some super fun stuff there!
On an unrelated note, I’m in a show that opens this weekend which of course means a full week of tech and dress rehearsals so I will be around all spotty like. And let’s not even talk about January just yet. It’s gearing up to be a wild ride…
The back story:
Once upon a time, there was a wee lass named Misty who was all of seven years old. Misty’s parents thought it would be absolutely delightful to show her a little film called The Monster Squad. Why would they do this? Who knows? Unfortunately for Misty’s parents, this experiment did NOT end well. As a matter of fact, the wee lass sat up ALL NIGHT LONG refusing to sleep because she KNEW that at any moment Dracula would walk through her bedroom door and do something horrendous. And as we all know, if a wee one doesn’t sleep, the adults don’t sleep. This was the occasion that led to the horror movie ban in Misty’s life, the ban that would not be lifted until her sixteenth birthday.
I revisited The Monster Squad (Two-Disc 20th Anniversary Edition) specifically for Nostalgiathon. I literally had not seen it since that oh so wonderful viewing at the age of 7 and my memory mostly consisted of the traumatic aftermath. When asked about this film before curling into the fetal position, I would simply say, “Classic movie monsters come back and kids have to fight them.”
First, I’d like to say…Mom & Dad, what the hell were you thinking showing me this??? Dracula picks up a 5 year old girl by the chin and calls her a bitch – how was I not supposed to think he had a deeply intense hatred of tiny children of the female variety and would hunt me down? Sheesh! (Btw, I do so totally love my parents, I just don’t know what they were thinking here. *giggles*)
Second, this movie is absolutely a classic. Awesome kids, great one-liners and an all around good time – way perfect for adolescent boys especially, methinks. And ah, the 80s when kids could curse like sailors and check out scantily clad women in the movies all while smoking ciggies or being smoked around. Such a simpler time…*sighs*
This is one I just sort of assume everyone has seen but if not – well…classic movie monsters come back and kids fight them. See, my hazy memories were correct. It’s kinda like The Goonies (which I love) but with some real drama. The old German guy for one? Had no memory of that and when I saw him talking about monsters, it kind of broke my heart a little. I was NOT expecting something like that to be in a “kids’” movie.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:
If I had watched this when I was oh, say 12, I would’ve been head over heels in love with Rudy. He was such a bad ass. 12 year old Misty would’ve *swooned* over that kid.
Eugene: Is she a versgin?
Scary German Guy: Yes, she can do it!
Patrick: She can’t read, she’s five years old!
Scary German Guy: I’ll help her!
EVERYTHING about the above exchange cracked me up. Just EVERYTHING.
That freaking adorable dog. So cute.
Frankenstein for the WIN!
Not gonna lie, through jaded adult eyes some of the middle got a bit boring but overall one fun ride and definitely worth the revisit!
Now that Nightmare is over and done with, I’m finally free to start with Nostalgiathon 2012! And my very first entry is the 1991 film, Man in the Moon. Starring Reese Witherspoon in her very first time onscreen and featuring Sam Waterson in his last theatrical film before he started with Law & Order, this is a film I had completely and utterly forgotten about until I browsed HBO Go a couple of nights ago and found it and was flooded with hazy memories of having loved it when I was eleven. What better way to start of Nostalgiathon right?
Directed by Robert Mulligan and also starring Jason London (do y’all remember those London twins??), Man in the Moon is set in the summer of 1957 and focuses on the Tant sisters, Dani (Witherspoon) and Maureen (Emily Warfield). Dani is fourteen and a firecracker who still likes to run off down the pond to go skinny dipping while Maureen is seventeen and dreaming about what the future holds for her.
One day whilst skinny dipping, Dani meets Court (London) a new neighbor whose family has actually been friends with her parents since high school (prior to moving away and then moving back). It isn’t instantaneous, but pretty darn close, before Dani is head over heels for Court. They become great friends and Court even gives Dani her first kiss. This is all before Court finally meets Maureen and, for them, love is instantaneous which leads to hurt feelings all over the place and confusion on Dani’s part. When tragedy strikes will Dani find it in her heart to forgive her older sister or will their relationship be lost forever?
I don’t know why I loved this as a child – I don’t remember a lot from childhood – but I’m going to say it was probably the melodrama because I was quite the melodramatic child (and may or may not tends toward melodrama now… ). I’m sure it struck some chords with me for a variety of reasons – the Tants reminding me a bit of my own family, not knowing who I was at eleven or who I would be but dreaming of leaving the small town I was stuck in for bigger and better things, plus first love – I imagine all little girls dream of that at some point. So how did it fare watching it as an adult?
Frankly, I really enjoyed it. Sure there were scenes that were totally contrived and the melodrama was over the top at points but I still enjoyed the story and I still got a tear in my eye at a few points. This won’t be a movie that I’ll go out and buy and watch again and again but I imagine in another ten years, I’ll likely get a hankering for it.
One last note – if you’re only familiar with Reese Witherspoon from her days in romantic comedies, I highly suggest you go back and check out her earlier work.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy concludes the Nightmare on Elm Street series (that should’ve been done by Halloween, damn you Frankenstorm!! *shakes fist at the skies*). I’ve pondered long and hard over just how to review this one as 1) it’s a documentary and 2) it clocks in at four hours. Obviously, bullet points wasn’t going to cut it for four hours (my gosh, can you imagine??) and with so much information it’s hard to know what to say about it. So…
That said, I love this documentary, it’s one of my favorite ones ever (and I watch A LOT of documentaries). And that said, unless you really dig Nightmare on Elm Street or are just highly interested in the movie making process of one of the greatest horror franchises of all times, you probably won’t enjoy this. What Never Sleep Again does is start with the original Nightmare and continues on with behind the scenes and cast and crew interviews all the way up through the rest of the series. It’s also the story of how New Line rose to fame.
It’s fascinating and it covers everything from how they did that totally sweet kill scene of Tina in the original Nightmare (they built a rotating room, just fyi, which I find so f’ing cool – I love old school effects!) to the homosexual undertones in Nightmare 2. The film also presents photographs, storyboards, conceptual art, publicity materials, archival documents, and behind-the-scenes footage that have never been previously shared. Never Sleep Again expands on Wes Craven’s motivations in creating the first Elm Street film. It also explores behind-the-scenes of the original film and all of its sequels. Through interviews, the film shares how cast and crew brought their own worst nightmares to life on screen and examines the impact the series and its mythos have had on pop culture and the horror genre in general. The documentary also explores the rise and fall of Robert Shaye’s New Line Cinema and its reputation as “The House That Freddy Built”.(wikipedia.org).
And really that’s all I can say. This film is a plethora of information and if it’s an insider’s look you want to have this film is the film for you.
And the final entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (nope, the remake is NOT gonna be talked about here!) is Freddy vs Jason. So what do I have to say about this film?
IT’S MOTHEREFFING FREDDY VS JASON!!!! That’s what I have to say about it. Seriously, if you go into this movie looking for plot or underlying themes or anything at all other than the fact that FREDDY and JASON are kicking the shit out of each other then um, I think you are totally missing the point of this flick. Plus it has Ginger from Ginger Snaps. ‘Nuff said.
Even though there’s one more movie after this, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is the film that really brings the series full circle. Originally dreamt up around the time he was writing Dream Warriors (but turned down by studio execs), this film brings back a less kind and gentle (and cartoonish) Krueger for fans.
You might remember this one as the film where Freddy really and truly comes to life. Heather Langenkamp stars as herself as does Robert Englund and Wes Craven. The story starts with the filming of a new Freddy movie where Freddy’s glove mysteriously comes to life and starts killing people…but wait! That’s just a dream that Heather is having! Heather’s just a little anxious about all the upcoming press for the 10th anniversary of Nightmare on Elm Street. She also has a kid now and a husband. But she’s been having bad dreams, see? And prank phone calls that sound like…FREDDY KRUEGER!!!! *insert ominous music*
So long story short – Wes Craven is working on a new script, one that he dreams up every night and it’s all about how pure evil can be real and then defeated and this evil is taking Freddy’s form because of Heather and Freddy really thinks she’s Nancy or something and then there’s this awesome stuffed animal dinosaur that the kid has that guards the end of his bed and people die and everyone thinks Heather is crazy (cause really, you’d think that too) and then she and the kid get kidnapped to dreamscape world and apparently Robert Englund is a really freaky painter.
I enjoy this one mostly because I think about how freaking fun it must have been for the actors to all be playing some version of themselves and then some version of a character they had played (or had been playing) for years in the past. It’s like if I made a movie exploring my childhood and played young Misty (I wouldn’t, that would be tragic but you get the point). This is like the epitome of t.v. reunion shows, you know? And I like the idea of something entirely made up becoming real and everyone’s just standing there going, “WTF? Seriously? Dudes, this is the stupidest thing ever.” And then of course Freddy is more like the Freddy of yesteryear – nasty and less punny. Always a plus.
Short review I know but I enjoy this one – it’s gotta be my third fave out of the series (although technically this isn’t part of the series and is meant as a standalone). If you’re going through the franchise, be sure to include this one! Also I find the trailer really cool…
Wow. I really did not remember having so much hatred for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. But yeah, if I had watched this movie in real time and this was being billed as the last one ever and I watched I would be so pissed off. It would be like watching Ep. 1, 2, and 3 of Star Wars all over again. Actually I don’t even know if I watched Ep. 3…
Anyway, Freddy’s back (duh), kids are dying, more of Freddy’s history is revealed and logic, continuity and plain common sense are missing. Read on for further thoughts (they aren’t great – just got power back yesterday and wow, do you know how dirty your house can get after 8 days with no power? Plus catching up on 8 days of work and stuff equals one sleepy girl. So I sincerely apologize for what you are about to read.):
- Yay Nietzsche quote! I so have a literary crush on him. Him and Anais Nin.
- Okay, so this movie is actually set 10 years after it is made…why does it say “10 years from now” rather than “10 years later” or something. This bugs me.
- I hate planes which is ironic given that both of my parents flew in their free time and I’ve been flying since I was 6 months old.
- “Don’t be a pussy” says the old lady – haha, I am so going to be that lady when I’m older.
- Falling out of planes is one of the reasons I don’t like them. *yeesh*
- This kid kinda looks like the dude from “Boy Meets World”…Rider Strong? Anyway, pretty cute.
- Yay, Wizard of Oz reference! <3
- Dream within a dream? Is this Alice’s baby Jacob? Why is this movie starting this way??
- Freddy house! Tricycle!!
- Did he just actually run on air?
- I have NEVER tumbled down a hill in quite so dramatic a manner…this kid should be dead by now.
- I wonder if Robert Englund was tired of making these by now? Freddy’s doing a crappy job of killing this kid. And I still don’t know if this is dream world or real world land. I’m going to assume this will all be explained later. I do not remember much of this movie.
- Person shaped hole in the universe! Timey wimey!
- Hahaha, old school handheld video games. Dude. I have an original Gameboy – tried explaining that to my friend’s six year old – his response “Gameboy, that’s what they called them before they called them DS right?”
- Breckin Meyer!! Seriously, how old is this guy? He’s been in everything for like all time.
- I look at this therapist and all I can see is Tracy Morgan from 30 Rock – did he play this guy on SNL at some point? Yaphet Kotto, I think?
- Seriously, Rider Strong, just sing quietly to yourself if you need to stay awake.
- I totally forgot the big Wizard of Oz undertones here…
- Ah, 1991, that explains the Saved by the Bell décor and cray cray CGI.
- Where do these people live where the cops are all “Oh, another 12 year old crackhead on the streets.” and the graffiti indicates this is a third world country?
- Worst town fair EVER. Although that elderly man in a tophat riding bumper cars by himself is pretty awesome.
- DUDE, ROSEANNE!! I forgot she was in this! And Tom Arnold! *giggles* Oh 90s, you were so cool.
- Why does this social worker not notice the state of Springwood? Smoking clowns, insane Roseanne Barr…giving juvenile delinquents a van to drive back to the shelter… I am thinking someone is not the best at her job.
- Time loop! Which one was it where this became a thing? #4?
- Awww, I wanna hold an art contest for kids drawing Freddy Krueger. It would be adorable.
- Yeah, Carlos, I’m not so great with maps either. At least no map has actually said to me that I’m fucked. Misty: 1, Carlos: 0
- Gotta admit, the whole adults gone crazy by lack of kids/empty town/etc. idea is creepy but not as well executed here as it could be.
- Rider has no memory but all of a sudden he totally remembers Freddy Krueger and what happened in this town.
- Freddy had a kid!!
- Could a whole town of children really disappear with no police or government official intervention? I mean, you can’t arrest Freddy but someone would get the blame right?
- I really am way too tired to be witty tonight, sorry guys.
- Fire pretty.
- Ew, I would not sleep in a bed with dust flying up from it. I am picky though.
- Oh Carlos, why did you go and fall asleep? You really are fucked.
- Ew, I remember this part now with the qtip. Nice touch with the little chunky bits, special effects team!
- Oh Freddy, now you’re just mocking him. How rude!
- Spider ear, spider ear does whatever a spider ear does!
- There are some really bad editing cuts in this, continuity was apparently not an issue.
- Ha @ Carlos – “you wouldn’t do that would you man?” Carlos so doesn’t realize who he’s dealing with here.
- Freddy used to kill people a lot faster. And not make love to blackboards…
- Um…what kind of weed causes you to hallucinate that a broken and smashed t.v. is working?
- Oh logic, sometimes I really wish you showed up more often in film. But only sometimes. This is one of those times.
- Yay Johnny Depp!!
- Yes, Freddy, only hippies smoke weed.
- I really want to watch Laugh-In now.
- I think Freddy is playing Atari here (explaining that one to the six year old was harder).
- Wait, since when can Rider suddenly go into people’s dreams?
- Ugh, the movie has gotten cartoonish, almost literally.
- Okay, I just spaced out for like 10 minutes. I still really do not like this movie.
- Although this made me laugh – “He’s not going to get me again. NOTHING can make me leave this bed.” End of bed catches on fire. “Dammit.”
- For someone who’s scared of heights, Rider looks not very concerned about his imminent death by falling 800 million feet.
- Oh wow. That was the worst acting I have seen in awhile. Like really really bad.
- I don’t know if I can finish this. I think there’s still a half hour or more left. I didn’t remember it being THIS bad.
- Omg, I want to tear my hair out this is so bad. Someone tell me something happy, please?
- So my friends got a new kitten. They named it Meep.
- She looks embarrassed. I am embarrassed for this movie.
- Freddy’s got plans for world domination, y’all!
- Yay – tagline! “Every town has an Elm Street.”
- Kung fu this bitch. Indeed.
- This movie lacks any tenseness, any horror and leaves me with no feelings of caring. It’s kind of like watching that production of Evil Dead: The Musical all over again.
- Freddy’s listing all the ways people have tried to kill him while cutting off his own fingers. He has green ooze instead of blood in case you were wondering.
- Oh yeah, dream people gave him this job. That’s right, now I remember where this is going. 3D land, y’all, that’s where we’re headed. *sighs*
- So they’re going with the tried and true method of pulling Freddy out of the dream into the real world. Because that’s worked so well in the past.
- They certainly have some inspired casting in this one. Alice Cooper as Freddy’s father/stepfather/adoptive father?
- Blah, blah, fight to the death, blah, blah, explosion, blah, 3D, blah.
- THE END.
And of course the trailer:
In summary, eff you Final Nightmare, eff you.
Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is where the Freddy franchise starts to get a little silly. Well…that’s not entirely accurate. It was gradually getting there anyway but this one is all special effects work, less awesome deaths and a point where one says to oneself, “Self – why are we still watching this? Self – why is that girl not leaving the shower when brown water starts gurgling up from the drain? Self – tell me again when that particular point in Freddy’s legacy came into being, please.” Dream Child doesn’t suck it big time or anything but it’s another twist in the fun of Freddy.
So Alice is back with Dan and all is well. Well, not really cause the movie starts with her almost drowning in the shower. Don’t laugh. That’s totally something that would happen to me too! Anyway, it’s all a dream of course and what can it mean but that Freddy’s back!! Muahahhahaa!! Next day is high school graduation and we meet Alice and Dan’s new friends (since the other ones all died). We’ve got Pretty Girl, Swimmer Girl and Comic Book Guy. Pretty Girl has a bitchy stagemom, Swimmer Girl is our skeptic and Comic Book Guy is not fond of blood and violence unless it’s in his comics.
Alice keeps having bad dreams and keeps trying to convince Dan that Freddy’s back but Dan just brushes it off as lingering post traumatic stress. Duh, Alice. You control Freddy. Try to remember that, silly goose. Dan is, of course, the first to go. He tries really hard to fight back but Freddy has him die in a fiery car crash (coincidentally this is how my father seems to be convinced I will die. Not because I’m a bad driver. I really don’t know why…). Poor Alice. She sees the cars go boom and passes out. She wakes up at the hospital with Swimmer Girl, her recovered alcoholic father and a doctor who informs her that she’s pregnant. Oh, snap!
Long story short (because seriously re-watching this today it felt like it was 8 million years long but I’m also really tired so maybe that’s why):
And it’s all because Freddy is able to enter the waking world and the sleeping world through Alice’s unborn child’s dreams. Don’t ask – I have no explanation for that waking world thing I just know Alice kept yelling at people about it. Oh and Alice and her unborn child hang out a lot in this movie except her unborn child is around 8 when she meets him. He’s definitely the key to this whole hootenanny. And Freddy’s mom is back and comes in for a little last 15 minutes help the heroine activity.
Underlying themes in this one? Eating disorders, women’s rights over their bodies, abortion, lack of parental parenting and possibly comic book violence. This one is much more middling than the last – it seems they spent the majority of their budget on special effects and while some are cool, considering the year this was made, some are just really really bad. There’s some cool scenes but the deaths are way less fun and they’re way quicker also.
Freddy with no Freddy makeup! Freddy as man!!
I wonder how much inspiration American Horror Story Asylum drew from Freddy’s backstory?